DISCOURSE as quilting

Welcome to the intersection of P. L. Thomas writing about his writing and other writers' writing to explore discourse as quilting.

Archive for the ‘Haruki Murakami’ Category

remnant 70: “I was afraid I’d eat your brains”

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The sheep man cocked his head to one side. “Wow, that’s a tough one.”

“Please, tell me. My mother is waiting for me back home.”

“Okay, kid. Then I’ll give it to you straight. The top of your head’ll be sawed off and all your brain’ll get slurped right up.”

I was too shocked for words.

“You mean,” I said, when I had recovered, “you mean that old man’s going to eat my brains?”

“Yes, I’m really sorry, but that’s the way it has to be,” the sheep man said, reluctantly.

The Strange Library, Haruki Murakami


“Conversation 16”

The National

…I was afraid
I’d eat your brains
I was afraid
I’d eat your brains
Cause I’m evil
Cause I’m evil…

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December 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm

remnant 65: “The prospect of losing that made him saddest of all”

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It was also possible that he would, at some point, be deprived of his freedom entirely, in which case not only Scheherazade but all women would disappear from his life. Never again would he be able to enter the warm moistness of their bodies. Never again would he feel them quiver in response. Perhaps an even more distressing prospect for Habara than the cessation of sexual activity, however, was the loss of the moments of shared intimacy. What his time spent with women offered was the opportunity to be embraced by reality, on the one hand, while negating it entirely on the other. That was something Scheherazade had provided in abundance—indeed, her gift was inexhaustible. The prospect of losing that made him saddest of all.

“Scheherazade,” Haruki Murakami


The National

I’m having trouble inside my skin
I tried to keep my skeletons in…

I don’t need any help to be breakable, believe me
I know nobody else who can laugh along to any kind of joke
I won’t need any help to be lonely when you leave me

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October 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm

remnant 63: “I stopped believing in beautiful words, beautiful slogans, and beautiful theories”

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Like, some of these guys were Marxists. I had nothing against Marxism at that time, but these guys weren’t speaking their own words. They just talked in slogans all the time, excerpts from books, that sort of thing. I didn’t like that. I mean, the words they used were strong and beautiful, but they weren’t their own. So, since then I stopped believing in beautiful words, beautiful slogans, and beautiful theories. I just believe in honest words, from myself.

Haruki Murakami, qtd. in Matthew Carl Stretcher’s The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami

The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami

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September 2, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Haruki Murakami, remnant 63

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remnant 61: “The right words always seemed to come too late”

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“Because I have no sense of self. I have no personality, no brilliant color. I have nothing to offer. That’s always been my problem. I feel like an empty vessel. I have a shape, I guess, as a container, but there’s nothing inside. I just can’t see myself as the right person for her. I think that the more time that passes, and the more she knows about me, the more disappointed Sara will be, and the more she’ll choose to distance herself from me.”…

The right words always seem to come too late….

“I truly love you, and I want you,” Tsukuru repeated….

If Sara doesn’t choose me tomorrow, he thought, I may really die. Die in reality, or die figuratively—there isn’t much difference between the two….

He longed for her more than he could say. It was a wonderful thing to be able to truly want someone like this—the feeling was so real, so overpowering. (pp. 336, 341, 358, 384, 385)

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Stranger than Fiction (2006)

Harold Crick: [runs to Ana the baker with a box of 10 paper bags in it] I’m glad I caught you. I wanted to give you these.
Ana Pascal: Wait, you can give presents, but not receive them? That sounds awfully inconsistent, Mr. Crick.
Harold Crick: Yes, but…
Ana Pascal: Wait, I know, I’ll purchase them! Yeah, I’ll purchase them.
[reaches into her bag to grab her wallet]
Harold Crick: No, no, no, no.
Ana Pascal: [with wallet in hand, stops to actually look at the box] What are they?
Harold Crick: [quietly] Flours.
Ana Pascal: What?
Harold Crick: I brought you flours.
Ana Pascal: [see the sweetness of the gesture, then realizing he’s carried 10 bags of flours] Wait, you carried them all the way here?
Harold Crick: Miss Pascal, I’ve been odd. I know I’ve been odd, and I know that there are many forces at work telling me to bring these down here to you, but I brought these for you because… I want you.
Ana Pascal: [a bit taken aback, and ready to be really offended] Excuse me?
Harold Crick: I want you.
Ana Pascal: You want me?
Harold Crick: In no uncertain terms.
Ana Pascal: [realizing that he’s really not being a creep and just a guy who’s not used to saying what he feels] But isn’t there some… I don’t rule about fraternization…
Harold Crick: Auditor / Auditee protocols, yes, but I don’t care.
Ana Pascal: Why not?
Harold Crick: Because I want you.
Ana Pascal: [contemplates him for a second, and looks back at the box] Can you carry those a little bit further?
Harold Crick: Okay.

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August 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm

remnant 60: “I want you always to remember me”

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We came to a stop and stood in the silent woods, listening. I tumbled pinecones and cicada shells with the toe of my shoe, then looked up at the patches of sky showing through the pine branches. Hands thrust in her jacket pockets, Naoko stood there thinking, her eyes focused on nothing in particular.

“Tell me something, Toru,” she said. “Do you love me?”

“You know I do,” I answered.

“Will you do me two favors?”

“You may have up to three wishes, madame.”

Naoko smiled and shook her head. “No, two will be enough. One is for you to realize how grateful I am that you came to see me here. I hope you’ll understand how happy you’ve made me. I know it’s going to save me if anything will. I may not show it, but it’s true.”

“I’ll come to see you again,” I said. “And what is the other wish?”

“I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?”

“Always,” I said. “I’ll always remember.” …

“Do you really promise never to forget me?” she asked in a near whisper.

“I’ll never forget you,” I said. “I could never forget you.” (p. 9)

Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami


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May 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm

remnant 57: “forced on me from above”

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I never disliked long-distance running. When I was at school I never much cared for gym class, and always hated Sports Day. This was because these were forced on me from above. I never could stand being forced to do something I didn’t want to do at a time I didn’t want to do it. Whenever I was able to do something I liked to do, though, when I wanted to do it, and the way I wanted to do it, I’d give it everything I had….

If you’ll allow me to take a slight detour from running, I think I can say the same thing about me and studying. From elementary school up to college I was never interested in things I was forced to study….I only began to enjoy studying after I got through the educational system and became a so-called member of society….

I always want to advise teachers not to force all junior and senior high school students to run the same course, but I doubt anybody’s going to listen to me. That’s what schools are like. The most important thing we ever learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school. (pp. 34-35, 45)

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running, Haruki Murakami

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

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March 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm

remnant 37: “‘If you think of someone enough, you’re sure to meet them again'”

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“It’s strange, isn’t it?” the woman said in a pensive voice. “Everything is blowing up around us, but there are still those who care about a broken lock, and others who are dutiful enough to try to fix it. . . . But maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.”…

The woman picked up her black bag and, still bent over, headed for the door.

“Will I see you again?” Samsa asked one last time.

“If you think of someone enough, you’re sure to meet them again,” she said in parting. This time there was real warmth in her voice….

The only thing he knew for certain was that he wanted to see that hunchback girl again. To sit face to face and talk to his heart’s content. To unravel the riddles of the world with her. He wanted to watch from every angle the way she twisted and writhed when she adjusted her brassiere. If possible, he wanted to run his hands over her body. To touch her soft skin and feel her warmth with his fingertips. To walk side by side with her up and down the staircases of the world.

Just thinking about her made him warm inside. No longer did he wish to be a fish or a sunflower—or anything else, for that matter. He was glad to be human. For sure, it was a great inconvenience to have to walk on two legs and wear clothes. There were so many things he didn’t know. Yet had he been a fish or a sunflower, and not a human being, he might never have experienced this emotion. So he felt.

“Samsa in Love,” Haruki Murakami

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October 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Franz Kafka, Haruki Murakami, remnant 37

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remnant 30: “It was like discovering the New World”

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from Haruki Murakami, The Art of Fiction No. 182


I don’t calculate. But if I could manage that, it would be good. I liked to read Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan while I was a college student. They had a sense of humor, and at the same time what they were writing about was serious. I like those kind of books. The first time I read Vonnegut and Brautigan I was shocked to find that there were such books! It was like discovering the New World.

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August 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

remnant 27: “this was on the order of a minor miracle”

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Still, this was on the order of a minor miracle—running across someone you express your feelings to so closely, so completely. Most people go their entire lives without meeting a person like that. It would have been a mistake to label this ‘love.’ It was more like total empathy.

…When we got together, though, the time just flew by. We’d look at our watches and discover that we could barely make the last train. It was always hard for me to say goodbye. There was so much more we wanted to tell each other.

Haruki Murakami, “Man-Eating Cats,” Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

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August 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm

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remnant 19: “once you’ve got an illusion going”

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Systematic, efficient, sophisticated. No muss, no fuss. Very business like. Just went to prove, once you’ve got an illusion going, it can function on the market like any other product. Advanced capitalism churning out goods for every conceivable niche. Illusion, that was the key word here. Whether prostitution or discrimination or personal attacks or displaced sex drive, give it a pretty name, a pretty package, and you could sell it.

Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami, p.282

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June 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm